This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are seeing COVID-19, other non-COVID upper respiratory viruses, common colds, strep throat, seasonal allergies, hand, foot and mouth and stomach viruses.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York is still seeing increased cases of COVID. They also treated patients with diarrhea this week.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports ongoing cases of COVID-19. There is also a high number of viral illnesses. Strep throat is on the rise and bronchiolitis increased in young infants.

There was an increase in the stomach bug, a lot of seasonal allergies, bug bites and pink eye this week.

Flu cases are still being seen, although the number of cases was down.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about post-viral cough:

“Once a virus is causing symptoms of runny nose, congestion, fatigue, cough and sore throat, it takes the immune system three to five days to battle and kill off the virus. During that process, not only is the virus creating mucous in the nasal passages but the immune system’s efforts are also creating mucous as a defense mechanism. During this time, the child may have fevers, as fevers are a “battle weapon” of the immune system to make it harder for a virus to survive. Once the immune system has triumphed, the fevers subside, the child’s energy and appetite increase, and the next step is to clear all of that accumulated mucous.

The mucous drains pretty slowly and clears the nasal system either out the front of the nose or down the back of the throat. Humans are designed to get rid of mucous via drainage into the throat, through the stomach and intestines, and ultimately out of the body. This “post-nasal drainage” is what causes babies, toddlers and kids to cough, and cough and cough.

The top of the airway has nerves that cause a cough whenever they sense that something other than air is about to enter the lungs. All of that accumulated mucous draining down the throat triggers the nerves at the top of the airway, causing the child to automatically cough it away. This cough and the wet sound to the cough increase at night, as gravity causes the mucous to pool in the horizontally lying child rather than consistently drain in small amounts. The post-nasal drainage and cough can slowly taper over seven to 10 days after other cold symptoms resolve. This is known as a “protracted cough.”

As long as the initial active, heavy nasal drainage improves after four to seven days, and the protracted cough continues to slowly improve without causing fevers or increased work of breathing, it’s OK to watch it for a week or two.”